Are there Frangipane flowers in your part of the world? Ain’t they downright pretty ? They sure make those Hawaiian girls look insanely beautiful !
I have fond memories of Frangipane flowers. There used to be two of those trees at my grandmothers place- one with red flowers and the other with yellow flowers. They weren’t all that tall and their artistically spread out branches made for an adventurous climb up. They blossomed bountifully and always laid a plush carpet of red and yellow flowers beneath them.
We all carry forward silly ideas from our childhood into our adult lives right upto the moment when somebody or something proves them wrong. The longer it takes to be exposed, the more stupid we feel at the epiphany. As a child,I used to think frangipane tarts were awful even though I had never had one or even seen one. Well ,please tell me how anyone in their right minds could ingest baked Frangipane flowers ?!! I balked and never thought of those disgusting tarts again.
Up until a few years ago, when I met a recipe which explained in great detail how they were made using ground almonds. Nope, no mention of any flowers. I read and re-read to make sure. And then there was that grand embarrassing moment in my head where drum rolls play, angels sing and the mighty ego takes a sudden nosedive into the depths of the earth. Uh-oh I did it again, I moaned, here’s yet another example to add to the ever growing list of my naïveties. 🙂
So when I came across this post on Stefan’s blog, I was bursting with curiosity to try out the Frangipane filling. Stefan’s blog is one of a kind, his passion for food is vibrant and contagious, you should stop by there.
Me and fresh figs are total strangers and I wanted to see how a roasted fig tasted like. Neither the frangipane filing nor the honey roasted figs disappointed me. To me, they tasted rich and exotic. And dear frangipane filling , you have secured my sincere loyalty for the rest of my life. Mr. Di was less poetic about the tart and said he didn’t care much for the figs, but that the filling was awesome. So he proceeded to dig out each fig and relish the rest of his slice. No complaints there cos I got some extra figs for myself ! I felt that the tart tasted even better the next day.
Since this recipe is time consuming , I distributed the work between two days by making the pastry a day ahead and then chilling it in the refrigerator. The next day before rolling out the pastry, I left it on the counter for around 15 -20 minutes to take the chill off slightly till it became more pliable.
I am no expert at making a tart dough from scratch. But this recipe by Annie’s Eats that I have followed till now has never let me down. You should definitely visit her blog, I totally enjoy reading her posts be it about baking, reading or planning a party. I have added the recipe below along with a bit of my own observations too. Hope it helps ! Enjoy.
Fig Frangipane Tart
Makes one 7″ tart
For the crust
Makes one 9″ pie crust
( I used half of this recipe to make a 7″ tart)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp ice water
For the Frangipane filling
( I used half of this to fill a 7 ” crust)
1/2 cup (100g ) salted butter, room temperature
6 1/2 tbsp (80 g ) sugar
3/4 cup (80 g) almond meal
1/3 cup (50 g ) all purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the honey roasted figs
6-8 medium sized ripe figs, stalks trimmed
2 tbsp orange juice
2 1/2 tsp pure honey
For the crust
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
2. Add the cubed butter into the bowl, and using either a pastry blender , fork or your hands rub in the butter till the mixture resembles coarse sand. The mixture shouldn’t be uniform. It is essential to have some chunks of butter (the biggest chunk shouldn’t be bigger than the size of a pea) left in the mixture. They add to the flakiness of the crust.
3. To this add the cold water and lightly knead with your hands till the dough just comes together. Equally divide the dough into two. Flatten and shape each dough with your hands into a rough circle. Cling wrap both the dough and let chill in the refrigerator for atleast 30 minutes.
4. Remove the cling wrap after chilling, and transfer the cold dough onto a well floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough too.
5. Check your doughs level of coldness . If it requires a lot of pressure to roll out, let it rest for a few minutes on the counter till it becomes slightly more pliable. If it’s sticky, slip it back into the refrigerator till it firms up a bit.
6. Roll the dough from the centre point outwards , and after each roll give a slight quarter turn to the dough. This prevents the dough from sticking to the work surface.
7. Roll it to a 10-12 ” round. Lift up the dough by wrapping half of it it loosely over your pin and unroll it onto your pie dish.
8. Lift the edges of the dough and press the pastry into the corners of the dish with your knuckles. Trim off the overhanging edges, let the pastry chill in the refrigerator for half an hour till firm.
9. Meanwhile ,preheat your oven to 200 C. Take out the pastry, prick all over the pastry with a fork, and then blind bake for 10 mins. Now take the tart out from the oven, remove the baking weights from it,and continue to bake the crust for five more minutes. The idea is to partially bake the crust before adding the filling.
10. Remove the pre baked crust from the oven, and allow to cool completely.
For the filling
- Using a beater or by hand, beat the butter and sugar till creamy.
- Next beat in the eggs and the vanilla extract
- Then beat in the almond meal and the all purpose flour.
- Add this almond mix to the baked and cooled tart shell. Fill the shell only till half and not all the way. Otherwise the figs will disappear into the filling when it starts to rise while baking.
For the honey roasted figs
- Quarter each fig lengthwise. You can cut them lengthwise into halves too, if you prefer.
- Sit them cut side up on a roasting tray.
- Mix orange juice and honey in a bowl. Generously brush the figs with this. You will have some of the honey orange mix left which you can use to soak the figs after baking.
- Roast the figs at 180 C for 10 mninutes until they are just soft and has started to release some of their juices. Allow them to cool. Arrange the figs on the filled tart shell in a circular pattern, as close together as possible.
- Now bake the tart at 180 C, in the middle of the oven, for around 30 minutes till it is golden brown all over yet very slightly jiggly at the centre
- Cool in the tart pan. Brush the figs with the rest of the honey orange mix. Unlike most tarts, you can cut into these once they are cool or even when still slightly warm.